I believe my story of grief is similar to that of many women. In the summer of 2017, I had my first miscarriage. Our oldest daughter was a year and half old, and we were so excited to give her a sibling, to watch another baby grow in my womb, and to add more life to our growing family.
words + photographs ALLISON ADLER
That excitement morphed into confusion, anger, and grief in an instant. “I’m sorry; there is no heartbeat,” were the words that haunted my dreams for months. I was young and healthy. I did everything I was supposed to do while growing life, yet my baby died.
I cried almost every night, begging God for another baby, trying to convince myself I would be content in the blessing we were given with our first daughter, while anxiously waiting to be cleared by my doctor to conceive again.
Five months after our first miscarriage, I was pregnant again. I called my doctor immediately to make appointments for bloodwork and ultrasounds, determined to have medical intervention early enough to prevent us from losing a second baby. Within the week, I found myself crying in the bathroom because I knew I was losing again. I felt every ounce of hope leave my body the next day as my doctor, while looking at an ultrasound, said, “There is no evidence of life.”
While grief does seem to loosen its grip slowly over time, I find myself periodically circling back to the initial stages, even years later after my miscarriages.
Grief is difficult to describe and to endure. Most of us imagine it as this linear experience that gets better every day until it eventually goes away. While grief does seem to loosen its grip slowly over time, I find myself periodically circling back to the initial stages, even years later after my miscarriages.
Coping Through Grief
Specific coping strategies helped me immensely in those early days of sadness. Talking about the loss I was enduring was crucial. A few women who knew exactly what I was going through surrounded me with their love and support, as well as a listening ear. Talking about the babies I lost made their lives more concrete, even though I never held them in my arms.
I have two rings I wear on my right hand. Each ring holds the birthstone of what would have been their birth months. I often look down at my right hand, remembering my babies that could’ve been and releasing the guilt for having joy despite the loss.
My third and most effective strategy for recognizing the grief that still exists while continuing to move forward in life is active worship of God. I either listen to and sing along with worship music or read my Bible. Those two forms of worship allow me to remember God is who He says He is and recall His faithfulness, specifically in my life.
Four years later, my husband and I have added two more children to our family. We have been given the opportunity to raise three beautiful babies thus far, and are forever grateful to the Lord for entrusting us with the lives of Kate (5), Tessa (2), and Jack (5 months). AA
Allison Adler is a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and physical therapist. Her greatest task is spreading the joy she has in Christ Jesus, her Savior.
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